I recently purchased a Volpe frame from a CL add. The PO had purchased the frame and made it up into a single speed beach cruiser for which he wanted $350. In the add he stated he would be open to other offers so I proposed purchasing the frame for $175. He agreed to show it and I went to look over the frame. He had removed some expensive wheels and cranks common to the fixie crowd. I turned the BB axle by hand and noted the gritty motion. He said, "feel how smooth the BB is". I laughed to myself but I still wanted the frame. I left with the frame and we were both happy.
I have spent the past two months rebuilding the 2003 Volpe into a worthy commuter and I am almost there but first here are the pics from the CL add:
volpe cl 1..jpgvolpe cl 4..jpg
I removed the bottom bracket and found significant quantities of superficial rust. The headset was also rust flake infested so I cleaned and repacked the headset and replaced the BB with a Truvativ unit. The dropout "polishing" shows significant wear so I think the original owner likely used the frame for cyclocross. The rust indicates that the inside of the frame got pretty wet. So frame saver throughout.
I bought a Truvativ Elita triple crankset as spec'd in 2003. I found a long cage Ultegra RD on eBay, handle bars 105 early STI and the seat at the SF Bike Swap. Then I added an Axiom rack and fenders from Bens and Novarra pannier from REI. I am pleased with the result.
Volpe web 2.jpg
These pictures are at Sunnyvale Baylands Park on my 10m commute. I am pleased in that I can maintain my 40 minute commute time while getting the back pack off my back. I used to ride my Electric Rose Bianchi to work with the back pack, the Volpe is much more comfortable.
Volpe web 6.jpg
To be honest I spent about as much as an equivalent new bike would cost, (Jamis Aurora). Of course it took me three tries on the FD, the first was top pull not bottom pull and the second was an Ultegra unit but it contacted the middle sprocket so I finally went with the Tiagra unit that worked correctly. I have enjoyed the experience and appreciate all the input from the pictures and threads on this forum.